Tanka


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tanka

 

an ancient genre of Japanese poetry. The tanka is a graceful unrhymed five-line poem consisting of 31 syllables, divided into lines of 5–7–5–7–7 syllables.

The tanka were generally nature or love lyrics, courtly panegyrics, or poems about the parting of lovers or the transient nature of life. Most of the poems in the Manyoshu anthology (second half of the eighth century) were tanka. Later, until the 15th century, the tanka was virtually the only poetic genre cultivated among the aristocracy. Between the 15th and 18th centuries, the tanka was superseded by new genres, the renga and haiku.

Beginning in the 18th century, interest in the classical literature of the ninth to 11th centuries resulted in attempts to revive the tanka. Poets of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Hiroshi Yosano, Akiko Yosano, Shiki Masaoka, and Takashi Nagatsuka, renewed the content of the tanka with new imagery and with colloquial speech. Later, Takuboku Ishikawa and other democratic poets imbued the tanka with socially oriented themes.

PUBLICATIONS

In Russian translation:

Iz iaponskoi poezii. Moscow, 1964.

laponskie piatistishiia. Moscow, 1971.

Man”esiu, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1971–72.

REFERENCES

Konrad, N. I. Iaponskaia literatura. Moscow, 1974.
Istoriia sovremennoi iaponskoi literatury. Moscow, 1961. (Translated from Japanese.)
Literatura Vostoka v srednie veka, vol. 1. Moscow, 1970.

N. G. IVANENKO

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In this social and cultural atmosphere, specialized magazines in the diverse fields of traditional Japanese-language poetry such as Tanka, Haiku, and Senryu were founded, and numerous works were created and enjoyed a welcoming reception.
He also wrote Bashi Tanka as his father but falsely used Douglas Kono's identity number.
"Wakan Tanka is concerned with human needs, and not luxuries.
The agency picked the 10 poets, aged 17 to 82, from 23,432 tanka submissions, including 258 from abroad, on the theme of grass (kusa), agency officials said, adding they will release the poems in January.
The 551 poems were written in the traditional tanka form but were expressed in vivid, nontraditional language.
The fluidity and innovative quality of "Improvization" also describes Sanchez's haiku and tanka poems.
1962) of the tanka form as a net "that filters the disorder of experience." The selection of poets includes such towering figures in the creation of modern Japanese tanka as Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902), Yosano Akiko (1878-1942), Saito Mokichi (1882-1953), and Ishikawa Takuboku (1886-1912).
All of the poems accepted as indisputably his (61 tanka and 16 cho^Oka), as well as a large number of others attributed to him, are to be found in the Man'yo^Oshu , the first and largest of Japan's anthologies of native poetry.
Kitahara introduced a new symbolic, decadent style into the genre of the traditional 31-syllable tanka with the publication of the collection Kiri no hana ("Paulownia Blossoms") in 1913.
The term waka also is used, however, as a synonym for tanka, the short poem that is a basic Japanese form.